The Controversy: The Banning Of Books

1401 Words 6 Pages
An Ancient Evil
Since the beginning of time, censorship has harvested controversy. Leaders made laws that required the government to review all artwork and literature before releasing it to the public. During World War I, Congress passed the Espionage and Sedition Acts which implemented penalties for publishing or saying anything that may discourage our participation in the war and for criticizing the government. Another big example of censorship happened in Nazi Germany where they made efforts to burn all non-German books. These included works of Ernest Hemingway and the 1929 Nobel Prize winning author who criticized the fascist government, Thomas Mann. Currently the issue is the banning of books from public and school libraries. Reasons
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Leaders prohibit books based on a “nonstandard scale of what random people perceive as wrong or unsuitable” (Yung). It is understandable that parents may worry about what their child reads, but they should deal with that as a family instead of bringing the issue to the board and restricting what a whole school can read. Administrators ban books in an attempt to protect children from certain subjects, but what if a student has been through or is currently going through a similar situation? Reading a book that relates to his/her situation may provide therapy to that student. For example, the book The Fault in Our Stars by John Green has recently been banned in a California school district. A committee of parents and librarians decided that 11 to 13 year olds should not learn about death at such a young age (Yung). Many students that age may have already experienced the death of someone close to them. Refusing these kids access to a book that could help them understand the realities of mortality simply because others may not be mature enough to handle the concept remains unfair to the minority. If parents feel that their child is not ready to deal with such a heavy subject they should advise him/her to avoid checking out that book so others may still access it. Prohibiting a book just because the administrator views it as unfit for a certain group forces those in …show more content…
One book often banned for this reason is Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Schools ban this book for its use of the n-word. There is also talk about replacing it with the term “slave” (Moore A.3). Today it is a very offensive word, however, in the day that the book takes place many used it commonly. People that agree with banning/censorship argue that changing the word is “for readers who cannot get past the slur to take in the rest of the book” (Moore A.3). They believe that readers will still understand the point of Twain’s story. Parents and teachers should enlighten the students about the offensive nature of the word, but it is important that the reader learns about the harsh realities of slavery and discrimination and keeping the n-word emphasizes that reality. During the era of slavery, African Americans were treated horribly and called many derogatory terms. Knowing this is an integral part to understanding United States history and teaches readers the terrible truths of

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